2021 Platform Moderator Guidelines

This year, the USCAP Annual Meeting is virtual. Authors whose abstracts were accepted for a platform presentation were asked to submit a ten (10) minute presentation. These pre-recorded presentations will be broadcast during the platform session. Immediately following the broadcast, the speaker will be available for 5 minutes for the Q&A. An example session layout is below:

  • 9:00 – 9:10 AM Broadcast Presentation for Presenter 1
  • 9:10 – 9:15 AM Q&A for Presenter 1
  • 9:15 – 9:25 AM Broadcast Presentation for Presenter 2
  • 9:25 – 9:30 AM Q&A for Presenter 2
  • etc.

All questions from session participants will be submitted via text through the online Q&A module. USCAP staff and an AV engineer will be on the session at all times to assist with any technical issues.

As a platform moderator your role is critical to ensure that the sessions are enjoyable and educational for the speakers and the audience alike. We would like to make a few suggestions to help you in preparing for your session. These suggestions represent best practices derived from moderators who have run successful platform sessions in the past.

Preparation

In March, you will receive instructions for how to join the Platform Session during the live meeting.

Best Practices
Login to your room 45 minutes before the start of the session. You will need a camera, microphone, and a quiet space. If you have a headset, it is recommended to use that as it will provider a higher sound quality. USCAP staff and AV engineers will be on the call to conduct all of the necessary checks (camera, microphone, volume, etc).

Speakers will also be asked to login in early. When speakers arrive, you can ask them how to pronounce any of the names in their abstract and find out who is presenting the paper. Make a notation of the speaker on your abstract list so that you can announce the presenting author. During this preparation time, you will also receive a brief tutorial on how to use the online Q&A module to moderate the session. USCAP staff and the AV engineers will be responsible for broadcasting the presentations based on the platform schedule. Moderators will need to make sure the Q&A sessions are ending on time. The USCAP producer will provide time notices to faculty during the session.

Running Your Session

The moderators announce each platform presentation. The title of the abstract is read aloud, along with the presenting author. At the end of the presentation, the moderators will begin to ask the presenter questions that have been submitted in writing through the virtual platform.

Best Practices
Arrange to split the abstracts with your co-moderator before the session. The title and authors can be read as the USCAP and AV staff are switching presentations; this saves time. If you run into any problems, an AV person will be in your session and can assist you.

Timing

One of your main roles as a moderator is to make sure that the session is running on time. This means that each platform session should start at the published time, and not early or late. Many of our attendees are going between rooms and they rely on each speaker starting at the correct time to jump from session to session. Each presentation is scheduled for 15 minutes, including presentation and question time. The speakers are instructed to take 10 minutes for their talk and leave 5 minutes for questions.

Best Practices
USCAP staff and the AV engineers will be responsible for broadcasting the presentations based on the platform schedule. Moderators will need to make sure the Q&A sessions are ending on time. Please make sure to have a timer nearby, as these sessions must start and end on time. The USCAP producer will provide time notices to faculty during the session. If a presentation is too short, questions are generally used to fill the time. On occasion, you may have to fill a significant amount of time. Come prepared with several open-ended questions you can ask the presenters.

Question and Answer Session

The time for questions at the end of each speaker should be carefully controlled by the moderators. The moderators should read the question out loud to the presenter. The moderators need to be prepared to fill the question time if there are no questions from the audience and to cut the question time short if necessary. The moderator should also be prepared to control questioning that is too aggressive or inappropriate.

Best Practices
Indicate to the audience that individuals can submit questions via the online Q&A module. Attendees to the session will NOT be able to participate verbally, all questions have to be submitted in the online module. Each moderator should be prepared to ask 3-4 questions for each abstract before the session, especially if the audience has none. It is best to allow the audience to ask questions first; then, the moderators can ask their questions to fill time, as necessary.

Managing Disruptive Behaviors

Occasionally you may encounter a participant (speaker or participant) who is posting disruptive comments and questions. You should immediately alert the USCAP and AV staff that will be monitoring your session.